Nearly four weeks have passed since the launch of my book. I’ve visited over fifty bookstores, participated in writers’ panels and author events, chatted on live radio shows and podcasts, and enjoyed numerous conversations with writers and readers. I’ve been on a perpetual high and will float back to ground eventually.

I’ve met writers from all backgrounds and ages. There have been moments when I’ve found myself surrounded by authors who are much younger than me, and I’ve wondered what it would have been like to start my fiction writing career earlier. If my first novel was published when I was 37 rather than 57, I’d have so many more years ahead of me to write more books.

But I banish these thoughts quickly. My books – The Engraver’s Secret and the two other books I’m currently writing and researching – are heavily influenced by the experiences, opportunities and relationships that have touched my life over the past 57 years.

Could I have written The Engraver’s Secret when I was 37? Yes, but it would have been a different book because I was a different person back then.

Age doesn’t define who I am or what I’ve achieved. Age is a number that simply quantifies the experiences that have shaped my life. I’m thrilled that I started writing fiction when I did and, although it’s taken ten years of hard work to have my first book published, I wouldn’t change a moment of that journey.

I will continue to disregard my age and follow the advice of the actress Sophia Loren, when she said that “there is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.”

 

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